CRAFT BREWERS ALLIANCE SALES UP 15%

Widmer Bros. Brewing parent company Craft Brewers Alliance Inc. on Friday reported third-quarter sales of $36.7 million, up 15 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The Portland-based brewer (NASDAQ: HOOK) reported earnings of $376,000, or 2 cents per share, compared to $94,000, or 1 cent per share, in the third quarter of 2009.

During the third quarter, the company incurred costs associated with a significant quantity of beer brewed at one of its facilities that was disposed of because it did not meet Craft Brewers quality standards.

Total shipments increased by 11 percent and cash flow grew by 50 percent, allowing the brewer to reduce its debt by 37 percent.

Craft Brewers formed from the July 1, 2008 merger of Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. and Woodinville, Wash.-based Redhook Brewery. The combined company operates the Redhook, Widmer Bros., Goose Island and Kona breweries, which it acquired in August for $13.9 million.

The four breweries include one in the Seattle area, one in Portsmouth, N.H. and two in Portland. It sells its products to Anheuser-Busch InBev and its network of wholesalers.